Monday, 12 January 2015

List, Leverage and Liberate India Post from Sarkar

The New Indian Express 
Published: 11th January 2015 06:00 AM 

The legacy is unmatched—established by Lord Clive and developed by Warren Hastings, it began its operations first in Calcutta in 1774, followed by Madras in 1786 and Bombay in 1793.

It has the largest reach and touches the lives of Indians across six lakh villages. With over 1.55 lakh outlets, its branch network is larger than that of all the scheduled commercial banks which boast of 1.25 lakh branches.

In the 1830s, it booked journeys/seats on palkis, boats, cart or coach, carrying mail—and managed/operated dak bungalows and lodges.

In 1877, it offered the value payable parcel service—the early avatar of the cash on delivery system e-commerce consumers are starry-eyed about. In 1879, it created the WhatsApp of the times—the post card—for people to communicate. 

By 1880, it was insuring lives. By 1908, it served 635 of 652 states, was the money transfer agent for 321 treasury offices across districts and the agency ordinary people trusted to send money. By 1930, it created the postal order facilitating safe transfer for traders and travellers and was a fully functional savings bank.

It could be India’s largest logistics company. It is one of the largest retailers. With 320 million accounts and over Rs.6 lakh crore in deposits, India Post is larger than many large banks. It manages PPF accounts, savings instruments like NSC and KVP for millions and is ergo one the largest asset management companies. As an aggregator of small savings, it is among the biggest lenders to the government.

India Post has been there and done that.

Yet, successive governments refused to recognise the potential—to deploy its presence, reach and connectivity to deliver inclusion and catalyse growth. As early as in 2000, I had advocated the idea of India Post as a corporate conglomerate during the Vajpayee regime. In 2004, as GDP growth accelerated and India was back on the radar of global investors, I suggested ( the government corporatise India Post, divest its shares to Indians and institutional investors to raise funds to leverage its strengths.

 Since then, the world has moved on. The US Postal Service has been modernised. The Royal Mail Group of Britain restructured itself. China Post Group—again restructured for the modern world owns trucks, railway carriage and aircraft—boasts of revenues of $58 billion and is ranked 168 on the Fortune 500 list. Deutsche Post has been turned into a conglomerate with revenues of $75 billion with a market capitalisation of $38 billion and is ranked 110 on the Fortune 500 list. Japan Post Holdings—corporatised during the Koizumi regime—boasts of revenues of $152 billion, is ranked 23 on the Fortune 500 list and is planning to list its financial outfits to achieve an astonishing market capitalisation of around $ 81 billion.


India Post has the potential to be the flyover that links India and Bharat. It has the potential to accelerate savings through financial inclusion—using the KYC of address and the Aadhar number as a springboard, it could instantly host over 600 million accounts. It can be the real and virtual market platform for farmers—Amul II—that levels the asymmetry in distribution of perishables and boosts production to curb food price inflation. It can deliver both credit and insurance to small farmers and micro enterprises. It is also the ideal one-stop shop for government services. Every initiative will drive employment, income generation and growth.
The principal problem is one of approach—regime after regime has viewed India Post as a cost centre. India Post has the potential to be a huge income centre and more importantly a force multiplier for the economy. 

There is hope though. Finally, it would seem the idea of leveraging the potential of India Post is on the table. This week, the task force entrusted with sketching the modernisation of India Post delivered its report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

The good news is that the task force has in its 181 recommendations suggested everything—well, almost—that we would want to hear. Under the new architecture, India Post will offer postal services, host a Post Bank, sell and market financial and insurance products, partner with e-commerce outfits and be the outlet for government services. 

The worry is that India Post will continue to be administered by a department. The structure that inhibits growth/metamorphosis will persist. The experience of Coal India, BSNL, MTNL or Air-India is hardly inspiring. The migration of India Post will be delayed, even detained, by the endemic affliction of incrementalism, of “phased plans” and “pilot projects”. 

India Post needs funds to leverage its reach and credibility. It also needs liberation from the sarkar. The argument is not about public ownership. It is about liberating institutions from political pelf, and instituting professional management. Why not create a national shareholding trust—that hosts India Post and all PSUs—answerable to Parliament?

Source :

India Post hits a bull’s eye with ‘My stamp’

The scheme has been crowd-puller in Chennai, Nagapattinam

The ‘My stamp’ programme, introduced by the India Post in Chennai in May 2013, has been evoking overwhelming response and has fetched a revenue of Rs. 5 lakh in 2013-14 fiscal. With the stamps providing a personal touch, it has gone down well with the members of the public in Chennai, said J.T. Venkateswarlu, Postmaster General, Central Region.

Speaking after launching the ‘My Stamp’ counter at the Head Post Office here on Friday, Mr. Venkateswarlu said that one had to fill a form and be photographed at the Philatelic Bureau at the Head Post Office. “One can have his or her image printed on a stamp of Rs. 5 denomination and use it,” he said.

Next to Chennai, the counter was opened in Nagapapttinam which attracted a large number of tourists and pilgrims. The Tiruchi head post office was the third centre in the State where “My stamp” counter has been made available. The fee for a sheet containing 12 postage stamps is Rs. 300.

The stamps would be delivered by post within a few days, he said. Customers would have to provide some proof of their identity, he added.

Mr. Venkateswarlu said the department had introduced core banking services in all 73 post offices, including 24 head post offices and 49 sub-post offices.

Steps had been taken to introduce automated teller machine (ATM) services at 24 head post offices.

The central region of the postal department with Tiruchi as headquarters was taking a lead in the area of postal services particularly with regard to opening of savings bank accounts, mobilisation of recurring deposits, and term deposits. The postal department would launch an awareness programme in rural areas on the advantages of rural Posta Life Insurance Scheme.

Special incentive

He said the Centre attached priority for encouraging postal services for financial inclusion. Every savings or recurring deposit account opened with the post office fetched a revenue of Rs. 195 to the post office concerned. “The idea is to ensure financial inclusiveness of all citizens particularly in rural areas,” he added.

Saturday, 3 January 2015


அன்புத் தோழர்களுக்கு  இனிய  வணக்கம் .  

மத்திய சென்னை  ,  தென் சென்னை  , தாம்பரம் உள்ளிட்ட சென்னை பெருநகர  மண்டலம்  சார்ந்த   கோட்டங்களில் MINUS  BALANCE  பிரச்சினையில்  பல தோழர்கள்/தோழியர்கள் பாதிக்கப்பட்டு  பல ஆயிரக்கணக்கான ரூபாய்   ஊதியப் பிடித்தம் செய்திட உத்திரவிட்டதை எதிர்த்து  நம்முடைய மாநிலச் சங்கத்தின் சார்பில்  பிரச்சினையை  பலமுறை PMG, CCR  மற்றும் CPMG  அவர்களிடம் கொண்டு சென்றது குறித்து இந்த வலைத்தளத்தில் ஏற்கனவே நாம்  பிரசுரித்திருந்தோம்.  

கடந்த 28.2.2014 இல் இது குறித்து,  சட்ட விதிகளைச் சுட்டிக் காட்டி   ஒரு நீண்ட கடிதத்தை  அளித்து  PMG, CCR  அவர்களிடம் பேசிய விபரமும் ,  அதற்கு இறுதியாக  அவர்,  சட்ட விதிகளுக்கு மாறான,  பிரச்சினைக்கு உள்ளான  MINUS  BALANCE  CASE  களை  பரிசீலித்து 'WRITE  OFF' செய்திட பரிந்துரைப்பதாக உறுதி அளித்ததையும்  தெரிவித்திருந்தோம்.

அதன் அடிப்படையில் பரிசீலிக்கப்பட்டு  தற்போது  CCR  மண்டலத்தில் மொத்தம் ரூ. 43,54,035.00  க்கு 'WRITE  OFF' செய்திட உத்திரவு பெறப்பட்டு  அது செயலாக்கப்பட்டும்  வருகிறது. குறிப்பாக  சென்னை மத்திய  கோட்டத்தில்  தி. நகர், மயிலாப்பூர்  உள்ளிட்ட பல அலுவலகங்களிலும், தென் சென்னை கோட்டத்தில் ST . THOMAS  MOUNT , MADIPPAAKKAM , NANGANALLUR  உள்ளிட்ட  பல அலுவலகங்களிலும்  தாம்பரம்     அம்பத்தூர் HO உள்ளிட்ட  பல அலுவலகங்களிலும்  இந்த  உத்திரவு அமலாகிறது. 

இது குறித்து  நமது மாநிலச் செயலரிடம் ஏற்கனவே  நமது PMG , CCR  அவர்கள் தெரிவித்தபடி, நம் கோரிக்கைக்கு   வந்த பதிலை    கீழே உங்கள்  பார்வைக்கு அளிக்கிறோம். 

இப்படி பெரிய அளவில் 'WRITE  OFF' பெறுவது இதுவே முதன் முறையாகும்.நம் கோரிக்கையை ஏற்று அதற்கான முயற்சிகளை மேற்கொண்டு ரூ.43.5 லட்சம் 'WRITE OFF' பெற்றுத் தந்த  நமது  சென்னை பெருநகர மண்டல PMG திரு. மெர்வின்  அலெக்சாண்டர்  அவர்களுக்கு  நம்  ஊழியர்கள் சார்பாக  மாநிலச் சங்கத்தின் நெஞ்சார்ந்த நன்றியினை  தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம்.

மேலும் இருமாதங்களுக்கு ஒரு முறையிலான பேட்டியில் நம்மிடம் உறுதி அளித்தபடி  நீண்ட நாள் பிரச்சினையான  திருவண்ணாமலை , ஆரணி   தலைமை அஞ்சலகப் பகுதிகளுக்கு புதிதாக 15 பிரிண்டர்கள் வாங்கிட அனுமதி அளிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது குறித்தும்  நம் நன்றியைத் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம். 


அன்புத் தோழர்களுக்கு இனிய வணக்கம் ! நம்முடைய மாநிலச் சங்கத்தின் சார்பில் கடந்த 30.12.2014 அன்று CPMG (I/C) திரு. BARMMA  அவர்களைச் சந்தித்து  பல்வேறு பிரச்சினைகள் குறித்து  கடிதம் அளித்து பேசிய விபரம்  அன்றைய தேதியில்  நம்  மாநிலச் சங்க வலைத்தளத்தில் தெரிவித்திருந்தோம். இதில் முக்கிய பிரச்சினையான  PONGAL  பண்டிகை  காலத்தில் மதுரை PTC  யில்  உத்திரவிடப் பட்டிருந்த  TRAINING SESSION  மாற்றியமைக்கப் படவேண்டும் என்பதே . அதற்கு அவரும் உடன்  ஆவன செய்வதாக உறுதி அளித்திருந்த விபரம்  தெரிவித்திருந்தோம். 

அதன்படி  எதிர்வரும் 05.01.2015 முதல் 17.01.2015 வரை அறிவிக்கப் பட்டிருந்த  பயிற்சி வகுப்புகள் மாற்றியமைக்கப்பட்டு , இடையில் வரும் 10.01.2015 மற்றும் 11.01.2015 நாட்கள் பயிற்சி வகுப்பு நாட்களாக  அறிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. அதனால்  பயிற்சி வகுப்புகள் அனைத்தும் பொங்கலுக்கு முதல் நாளே , அதாவது 14.01.2015 அன்றே முடிக்கப்பட்டு விடும்.

பயிற்சி வகுப்புக்கு தமிழகத்தின் பல பகுதிகளில் இருந்து  பணிக்கப் பட்டிருந்த 130 ஊழியர்கள் இதனால் பயன் பெறுவார்கள். அவர்கள் அனைவருக்கு  நம் மாநிலச் சங்கத்தின் பொங்கல் நல்  வாழ்த்துக்கள் !  

நம் கோரிக்கையை ஏற்று இதற்கான  முயற்சிகளை மேற்கொண்ட  CPMG (I/C) திரு. BARMMA அவர்களுக்கும் , DPS  HQ  திரு. கோவிந்தராஜன் அவர்களுக்கும் , அதற்கு உறுதுணையாக இருந்த  AD (STAFF ) திரு. ஆறுமுகம் அவர்களுக்கும்  ஊழியர்கள் சார்பாக நம் நன்றியைத் தெரிவித்துக் கொள்கிறோம்.  இது குறித்த DIRECTOR  PTC  அவர்களின் பதிலை கீழே  பார்க்கவும். 

Launch of PAHAL (DBTL) scheme on 1st January 2015 in entire Country

1.      The Direct Benefit transfer of LPG (DBTL) scheme PAHAL (Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh) has been re-launched in 54 districts on 15.11.2014 in the 1st Phase and will be launched in the rest of the 622 districts of the country on 1.1.2015.
2.       Consumers who wish to join the scheme will have to either link their Aadhaar number into their bank account and their LPG consumer or if they do not possess Aadhaar number, they will have to link their bank account directly with their 17 digit LPG Id. Once a Consumer joins the scheme, he will get the cylinders at market price and will receive LPG subsidy directly in his bank account. A sum of Rs.568 will be paid in advance to the consumer, in the bank account, who now joins the scheme, as soon as he makes the first booking for a cylinder after joining the scheme to ensure that he has extra money required to pay for the first LPG cylinder at market price. This is in addition to subsidy that is paid on each cylinder.  Camps are being set up at various banks, and LPG distributor’s premises to enable LPG consumers to open bank account and enroll for Aadhaar if they need to do so to join the scheme.
3.      To keep consumers informed about their status in the scheme, consumers will receive SMS at every stage in the scheme. To avail of this feature all LPG consumers are requested to register their mobile number with their distributor if they have not done so. They are also advised to receive cylinders only with cash memos to be assured of their subsidy transfer.
4.      The scheme will cover over 15.3 crore consumers across 676 districts of the country. Currently over 6.5 crore consumers i.e. 43% have already joined the scheme and will receive subsidy in their bank account.
5.      DBTL is designed to ensure that the benefit meant for the genuine domestic customer reaches them directly and is not diverted. By this process public money will be saved. All LPG customers are requested to immediately join the scheme as above (Detailed Scheme is in Annexure).
6.      All LPG consumers who are yet to join the scheme must do so quickly. Those who do not have bank accounts must first open bank accounts and then submit the required details to their LPG distributor/Bank for becoming cash transfer compliant.
7.      As on 30.12.2014, an amount of Rs.624 Crore has been transferred to over 20 Lakh LPG consumers since the launch of the scheme on 15th November 2014.
8.      LPG consumers who do not wish to avail the LPG subsidy for LPG cylinders can simply choose to opt out of subsidy. Over 12000 citizens have already voluntarily given up subsidy freeing up crores of subsidy amount for their less privileged brethren.

Salient Features/Timelines of the modified DBTL scheme
What if LPG consumer had joined the scheme earlier?
LPG consumers who had joined the scheme earlier by linking his Aadhaar number in LPG and Bank database will get the cylinder at Market price w.e.f 1.1.15 and the subsidy will be transferred into their bank account. They do not have to do anything further. They can check CTC (cash transfer compliance) status on
How to Join the modified Scheme?
For joining the scheme, the consumers have to fill up a form available with distributors and also on The options are as under:
1.      LPG consumers can join the scheme by providing their Aadhaar number to LPG distributor and to Bank.
2.      LPG consumers who do not have Aadhaar number can
a.       Give Bank details to LPG distributor OR
b.      Give 17 digit LPG ID to the Bank (select banks only).
 What happens if the LPG Consumer joins the scheme or if he doesn’t join it?
Once the scheme is launched on 1.1.15, LPG consumers who join the scheme will get a one time permanent advance of Rs.568/- as soon as they book a cylinder after joining the scheme.
All consumers who have joined the scheme will get LPG cylinders at market price and subsidy amount in their bank account after launch of the scheme in their district/state.
Between 1st January 2015 and 31st March 2015 (three months), any LPG consumer who does not join the scheme will get the cylinder at subsidized price as they are getting it today.
Between 1st April 2015 and 30th June 2015 (three months), those LPG consumers who still do not join the scheme will start getting the cylinder at market price and subsidy will be parked with the OMCs. As soon as they join the scheme within this 3 month period, the parked subsidy would be sent to their bank account, else it will lapse.
From 1st July 2015, consumers who have still not joined the scheme will get the cylinder at market price, but subsidy will not be admissible. Subsidy will be transferred only to the bank account of those consumers who have joined the scheme prior to 30th June 2015.
Any consumer joining the scheme after 30th June 2015 will get permanent advance and subsidy with prospective effect.
What happens to the LPG Consumers of the 54 districts where the scheme is ongoing?
1.      All consumers who have joined the scheme from 15th November 2014 are getting LPG cylinders at market price and cash in their bank accounts. They have also got the one time permanent advance of Rs.568/- on booking a cylinder after joining the scheme.
2.      Between 15th November 2014 and 14th February 2015 (three months), LPG consumers in these 54 districts who do not join the scheme will continue to get the cylinder at subsidized price as they are getting it today.
3.      Between 15th February 2015 and 14th May 2015 (three months), those LPG consumers who still do not join the scheme will start getting the cylinder at market price and cash admissible will be parked with the OMCs. If they join the scheme within this 3 month period, the parked cash would be sent to their bank account, else it will lapse.
4.      From 15th May 2015, consumers who have still not joined the scheme will get the cylinder at market price, however, cash subsidy will not be admissible. 
Source : PIB (Release ID :114245)

Now, post offices can provide ATM cards, account statements

Post offices moved a step closer to becoming banks. The government has allowed certain eligible branches to issue ATM cards to their account holders and also account statements instead of giving out passbooks, as most private sector banks do. 

On Tuesday, the government issued a gazette notification amending the Post Office Savings Bank General Rules, 1981. The rules will come into force immediately. These facilities will be available to the branches that are working on core banking solution software, essentially branches that part of an electronic network. 

Post offices currently provide savings account, recurring deposits, fixed deposits and many other small savings schemes run by the government including the popular Public Provident Funds. 

The funds raised by them largely go to finance central and state governments. India post currently has about 1.55 lakh branches, nearly 90% are in the rural areas, which many experts see as a good vehicle for financial inclusion. The notification says the post office savings bank could issue automated teller machine or debit card to account holders on request or otherwise which can be used to withdraw funds from any of the branches having core banking. 

The deposits to these accounts could be made and accepted through any electronic mode. The RBI had decided against issuing a banking licence to India Post when it gave out licence to IDFC and Bandhan Financial Services saying it would decide after consultation with government. The new rules notified by the government will push India Post closer to banks. 

Source : The Economic Times

Government constitutes National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog

Press Information Bureau
Government of India

01-January-2015 15:41 IST

Government constitutes National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog

 Press Note

            The Government has replaced Planning Commission with a new institution named NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India). The institution will serve as ‘Think Tank’ of the Government-a directional and policy dynamo. NITI Aayog will provide Governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy, this includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support. 

The following is the full text of the Cabinet  Resolution:-  


Mahatma Gandhi had said:  “Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position”. Reflecting this spirit and the changed dynamics of the new India, the institutions of governance and policy have to adapt to new challenges and must be built on the founding principles of the Constitution of India, the wealth of knowledge from our civilizational history and the present day socio-cultural context.   

2.            The Planning Commission was set up on the 15th of March, 1950 through a Cabinet Resolution.  Nearly 65 years later, the country has transformed from an under-developed economy to an emergent global nation with one of the world’s largest economies.

3.            From being preoccupied with survival, our aspirations have soared and today we seek elimination, rather than alleviation, of poverty.  The people of India have great expectations for progress and improvement in governance, through their participation.  They require institutional reforms in governance and dynamic policy shifts that can seed and nurture large-scale change. Indeed, the ‘destiny’ of our country, from the time we achieved Independence, is now on a higher trajectory.

4.            The past few decades have also witnessed a strengthening of Indian nationhood.  India is a diverse country with distinct languages, faiths and cultural ecosystems.  This diversity has enriched the totality of the Indian experience.  Politically too, India has embraced a greater measure of pluralism which has reshaped the federal consensus.  The States of the Union do not want to be mere appendages of the Centre.  They seek a decisive say in determining the architecture of economic growth and development.  The one-size-fits-all approach, often inherent in central planning, has the potential of creating needless tensions and undermining the harmony needed for national effort.  Dr. Ambedkar had said with foresight that it is “unreasonable to centralise powers where central control and uniformity is not clearly essential or is impracticable”. 

5.            At the heart of the dynamics of transforming India lies a technology revolution and increased access to and sharing of information.  In the course of this transformation, while some changes are anticipated and planned, many are a consequence of market forces and larger global shifts.   The evolution and maturing of our institutions and polity also entail a diminished role for centralised planning, which itself needs to be redefined.
    6.   The forces transforming India are many and include: 
a.       The industry and service sectors have developed and are operating on a global scale now.  To build on this foundation, new India needs an administration paradigm in which the government is an “enabler” rather than a “provider of first and last resort”.  The role of the government as a “player” in the industrial and service sectors has to be reduced.  Instead, government has to focus on enabling legislation, policy making and regulation.  

b.      India’s traditional strength in agriculture has increased manifold on account of the efforts of our farmers and improvements in technology.  We need to continue to improve, and move from pure food security to a focus on a mix of agricultural production as well as the actual returns that farmers get from their produce. 

c.       Today, we reside in a ‘global village’, connected by modern transport, communications and media, and networked international markets and institutions.  As India ‘contributes’ to global endeavours, it is also influenced by happenings far removed from our borders.  Global economics and geo-politics are getting increasingly integrated, and the private sector is growing in importance as a constituent within that.  India needs to be an active player in the debates and deliberations on the global commons, especially in relatively uncharted areas. 

d.      India’s middle class is unique in terms of its size and purchasing power.  This formidable  group is increasing with the entry of the neo-middle class.  It has been an important driver of growth and  has enormous potential on account of its high education levels, mobility and willingness to push for change in the country.  Our continuing challenge is to ensure that this economically vibrant group remains engaged and its potential is fully realised.  

e.       India’s pool of entrepreneurial, scientific and intellectual human capital is a source of strength waiting to be unleashed to help us attain unprecedented heights of success.  In fact, the ‘social capital’ that is present in our people has been a major contributor to the development of the country thus far and, therefore, it needs to be leveraged through appropriate policy initiatives. 

f.       The Non-Resident Indian community, which is spread across more than 200 countries, is larger in number than the population of many countries of the world. This is a significant geo-economic and geo-political strength.  Future national policies must incorporate this strength in order to broaden their participation in the new India beyond just their financial support.  Technology and management expertise are self-evident areas where this community can contribute significantly. 

g.      Urbanisation is an irreversible trend.  Rather than viewing it as an evil, we have to make it an integral part  of our policy for development.  Urbanisation has to be viewed as an opportunity to use modern technology to create a wholesome and secure habitat while reaping the economic benefits that it offers. 

h.      Transparency is now a sine qua non for good governance.  We are in a digital age where the tools and modes of communication, like social media, are powerful instruments to share and explain the thoughts and actions of the government.  This trend will only increase with time.  Government and governance have to be conducted in an environment of total transparency – using technology to reduce opacity and thereby, the potential for misadventures in governing. 

7.            Technology and information access have accentuated the unity in diversity that defines us.  They have helped integrate different capabilities of our regions, states and eco-systems towards an interlinked national economy.  Indeed, Indian nationhood has been greatly strengthened on their account.  To reap the benefits of the creative energy that emerges from the Indian kaleidoscope, our development model has to become more consensual and co-operative.  It must embrace the specific demands of states, regions and localities.  A shared vision of national development has to be worked out based on human dignity, national self-respect and an inclusive and sustainable development path.  
     8.  The challenges we face as a country have also become more complex:  

a.            India’s demographic dividend has to be leveraged fruitfully over the next few decades.  The potential of our youth, men and women, has to be realized through education, skill development, elimination of gender bias, and employment.  We have to strive to provide our youth productive opportunities to work on the frontiers of science, technology and knowledge economy. 

b.            Poverty elimination remains one of the most important metrics by which alone we should measure our success as a nation.  Every Indian must be given an opportunity to live a life of dignity and self respect.  The words of Tiruvalluvar, the sage-poet, when he wrote that “nothing is more dreadfully painful than poverty”, and “gripping poverty robs a man of the lofty nobility of his descent”, are as true today as they were when written more than two thousand  years ago. 

c.            Economic development is incomplete if it does not provide every individual the right to enjoy the fruits of development. Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya had enunciated this in his concept of Antyodaya, or uplift of the downtrodden, where the goal is to ensure that the poorest of the poor get the benefits of development.  Inequalities based on gender biases as well as economic disparities  have to be redressed.  We need to create an environment and support system that encourages women to play their rightful role in nation-building.  Equality of opportunity goes hand in hand with an inclusiveness agenda.  Rather than pushing everyone on to a pre-determined path, we have to give every element of society – especially weaker segments like the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes - the ability to influence the choices the country and government make in setting the national agenda.  In fact, inclusion has to be predicated on a belief in the ability of each member of society to contribute.  As Sankar Dev wrote centuries ago in the Kirtan Ghosh: “To see every being as equivalent to one’s own soul is the supreme means (of attaining deliverance)”. 

d.            Villages (Gram) continue to be the bedrock of our ethos, culture and sustenance.  They need to be fully integrated institutionally into the development process so that we draw on their vitality and energy. 

e.            India has more than 50 million small businesses, which are a major source of employment creation.  These businesses are particularly important in creating opportunities for the backward and disadvantaged sections of the society.  Policy making must focus on providing necessary support to this sector in terms of skill and knowledge upgrades and access to financial capital and relevant technology. 

f.             Responsible development implies environmentally sound development.  India is one of the mega-diverse countries.  Our environmental and ecological assets are eternal, and must be preserved and safeguarded.  The country’s legacy of respect for environment is reflected in our reverence for trees and animals.  Our legacy to future generations must be sustainable progress.  Each element of our environment (paryavaran) and resources, namely water, land  and forest (Jal, Jameen evam Jungle) must be protected; and this must be done in a manner that takes into account their inter-linkages with climate (jal vayu) and people (jan).  Our development agenda has to ensure that development does not sully the quality of life of the present and future generations. 

9.            The role of the government in achieving ‘national objectives’ may change with time, but will always remain significant.  Government will continue to set policies that anticipate and reflect the country’s requirements and execute them in a just manner for the benefit of the citizens.  The continuing integration with the world – politically and economically - has to be incorporated into policy making as well as functioning of the government. 

In essence, effective governance in India will rest on the following pillars: 

a.       Pro-people agenda that fulfils the aspirations of the society as well as individual,

b.      Pro-active in anticipating and responding to their needs,

c.       Participative, by involvement of citizens,

d.      Empowering   women in all aspects

e.       Inclusion of all groups, with special attention to the economically weak (garib), the SC, ST and OBC communities,  the rural sector and farmers (gaon and kisan), youth and all categories of minorities.

f.       Equality of opportunity to our country’s youth,

g.      Transparency through the use of technology to make government visible and responsive. 

10.         Governance, across the public and private domains, is the concern of society as a whole.  Everyone has a stake in ensuring good governance and effective delivery of services. Creating Jan Chetna, therefore, becomes crucial for people’s initiative.    In the past, governance may have been rather narrowly construed as public governance.  In today’s changed dynamics – with ‘public’ services often being delivered by ‘private’ entities, and the greater scope for ‘participative citizenry’,  governance encompasses and involves everyone.
11.          The institutional framework of government has developed and matured over the years.   This has allowed the development of domain expertise which allows us the chance to increase the specificity of functions given to institutions.  Specific to the planning process, there is a need to separate as well as energize the distinct ‘process’ of governance from the ‘strategy’ of governance. 
In the context of governance structures, the changed requirements of our country, point to the need for setting up an institution that serves as a Think Tank of the government – a directional and policy dynamo.  The proposed institution has to provide governments at the central and state levels with relevant strategic and technical advice across the spectrum of key elements of policy.  This includes matters of national and international import on the economic front, dissemination of best practices from within the country as well as from other nations, the infusion of new policy ideas and specific issue-based support.  The institution has to be able to respond to the changing and more integrated world that India is part of. 
An important evolutionary change from the past will be replacing a centre-to-state one-way flow of policy by a genuine and continuing partnership with the states.   The institution must have the necessary resources, knowledge, skills and, ability to act with speed to provide the strategic policy vision for the government as well as deal with contingent issues. 
Perhaps most importantly, the institution must adhere to the  tenet that while incorporating positive influences from the world, no single model can be transplanted  from outside into the Indian scenario. We need to find our own strategy for growth.  The new institution has to zero in on what will work in and for India.   It will be a Bharatiya approach to development. 
12.          The institution to give life to these aspirations is the NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India).  This is being proposed after extensive consultation across the spectrum of stakeholders including inter alia state governments, domain experts and relevant institutions.  The NITI Aayog will work towards the following objectives: 
a.            To evolve a shared vision of national development priorities, sectors and strategies with the active involvement of States in the light of national objectives.    The vision of the NITI Aayog will then provide a framework ‘national agenda’ for the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers to provide impetus to. 
b.            To foster cooperative federalism through structured support initiatives and mechanisms with the States on a continuous basis, recognizing that strong States make a strong nation. 
c.            To develop mechanisms to formulate credible plans at the village level and aggregate these progressively at higher levels of government. 
d.            To ensure, on areas that are specifically referred to it, that the interests of national security are incorporated in economic strategy and policy. 
e.            To pay special attention to the sections of our society that may be at risk of not benefitting adequately from economic progress.  
f.             To design strategic and long term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives, and monitor their progress and their efficacy.  The lessons learnt through monitoring and feedback will be used for making innovative improvements, including necessary mid-course corrections. 
g.            To provide advice and encourage partnerships between key stakeholders and national and international like-minded Think Tanks, as well as educational and policy research institutions. 
h.            To create a knowledge, innovation and entrepreneurial support system through a collaborative community of national and international experts, practitioners and other partners. 
i.              To offer a platform for resolution of inter-sectoral and inter-departmental issues in order to accelerate the implementation of the development agenda. 
j.              To maintain a state-of-the-art Resource Centre, be a repository of research on good governance and best practices in sustainable and equitable development as well as help their dissemination to stake-holders. 
k.            To actively monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification of the needed resources so as to strengthen the probability of success and scope of delivery. 
l.              To focus on technology upgradation and capacity building for implementation of programmes and initiatives. 
m.           To undertake other activities as may be necessary in order to further the execution of the national development agenda, and the objectives mentioned above.  
13.   The NITI will comprise the following:  
a.            Prime Minister of India as the Chairperson 
b.            Governing Council comprising the Chief Ministers of all the States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories 
c.            Regional Councils will be formed to address specific issues and contingencies impacting more than one state or a region.  These will be formed for a specified tenure.  The Regional Councils will be convened by the Prime Minister and will comprise of the Chief Ministers of States and Lt. Governors of Union Territories in the region.  These will be chaired by the  Chairperson of the NITI Aayog or his nominee. 
d.            Experts, specialists and practitioners with relevant domain knowledge as special invitees nominated by the Prime Minister 
e.            The full-time organizational framework will comprise of, in addition to the Prime Minister as the Chairperson: 
  i.      Vice-Chairperson: To be appointed by the Prime Minister
 ii.      Members: Full-time  
 iii.      Part-time members: Maximum of 2 from leading universities research organizations and other relevant institutions in an ex-officio capacity.  Part time members will be on a rotational basis.
 iv.      Ex Officio members: Maximum of 4 members of the Union Council of Ministers to be nominated by the Prime Minister. 
 v.      Chief Executive Officer : To be appointed by the Prime Minister for a fixed tenure, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
 vi.      Secretariat as deemed necessary. 
14.          Swami Vivekananda said “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” Through its commitment to a cooperative federalism, promotion of citizen engagement, egalitarian access to opportunity, participative and adaptive governance and increasing use of technology, the NITI Aayog will seek to provide a critical directional and strategic input into the governance process.  This, along with being the incubator of ideas for effective governance, will be the core mission of NITI Aayog. 

Cabinet Secretariat, Government of India
New Delhi, 1st January 2015